How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack?

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

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It’s easy to transport a kayak wherever and whenever you want as long as you have a secure and stable roof rack.

But your car doesn’t have a roof rack? We will tell you How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack?

Worry no more! You need three letters and two words…

D.I.Y or Do It Yourself roof rack and kayak trailers.

Of course! You can make your own roof rack, and yak trailers are available on the market. These will help you transport your kayak and enjoy the weir and rapids of kayaking.

So, here are the things you should know:

  • Why is the roof rack system expensive?
  • The materials and techniques in DIY roof rack;
  • Pros and cons of kayak trailer;
  • And more!

Are you ready?

Let’s haul!

Transporting a Kayak Without a Roof Racks

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

Roof Rack System

Quality is an important factor for a roof rack to be stable and secure, yet it comes with a price. Roof racks of bars and metal can be quite expensive for some due to high-quality specifications.

Here are the components that make this system expensive: aerodynamics, high-quality materials, and weight distribution.

Yes, it is properly engineered and comes with good and reliable features, which is why you’ll pay extra cost.

But then…

…not everyone would want an expensive roof rack, especially if they don’t use it frequently. Others prefer to buy second-hand and cheap ones on the market or rent trailers.

And if you’re the crafty and thrifty type…

…you’d choose to build your roof rack to save more money.

So, you’re in the right direction!

There are a lot of ways to do this, depending on the available materials at hand or on the market. As you read on, you’ll learn the whats and hows.

Why Wouldn’t I Want to Use a Roof Rack?

Is it expensive?

Sure it is – yet understandable why.

Roof rack affects the car’s wind resistance, thus increasing fuel consumption. For this reason, manufacturers design roof racks that would lessen the drag to increase gas mileage which makes it more expensive.

What’s the catch?

If you’re not using it frequently to load up materials and bulky things – you need to remove it. And most of the time, we use car trunks to load up things.

However, this is not the case for kayaks…

…it will not fit on car trunks regardless of how wide the trunk is.

Have you seen people doing it?

Well, it’s not a bad decision for you…but your kayak and car. It could damage your car and kayak due to abrasions. And this will only add to your expenses by buying new ones. Thus, people would opt to invest in roof rack systems or make their own.

But is it really worth it? – you’ll see.

How much money do you need to spend for transporting a Kayak Without a Roof Rack?

There are a lot of factors that could affect how you spend. So, you’ll need to extra analyze your needs and specific budget on certain things.

Here, you can spend more or less a hundred or thousand bucks depending on the way you’ll be transporting your kayak.

If your car has an attached roof rack: You will spend on ratchet straps for stability and security.

While if you don’t, you can opt to…

  • Purchase a roof rack (new or second hand);
  • Rent or buy a kayak trailer or;
  • Make your own using the following materials you’ll see later.

What Things You’ll Need for transporting a kayak without a roof rack?

Pool Noodles or Foam Blocks

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

You can use either pool noodles or foam blocks as a base to support your kayak.

Pool noodles and foam blocks are flexible and durable. It also prevents abrasion, given that it has a thick and heavy-duty quality to handle the weight of your kayak.

You might encounter pool noodles that are much longer than your vehicle – cut them into your desired size. Two pool noodles are enough, but you can add more.

Remember: Place foam blocks or pool noodles evenly on your car roof. It will secure and stabilize your kayak and prevent abrasions.

Avoid placing it on the sunroof, otherwise, it might affect the quality of the pool noodles and foam block.

After doing so…

Ensure that you place your kayak upside down. Seek the help of other individuals if the kayak’s too heavy for you.

Buckle up ratchet straps!

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

If you think you positioned your kayak in the right place and you spread it alright – go get your ratchet strap.

You need to place the ratchet straps over the kayak while keeping the buckle on the other side. Check if the straps are twisted on the kayak’s body if you don’t want your kayak shaking when you’re ready to go.

Here’s the thing…

Twisted straps on the kayak body are a big no, BUT you need to twist straps on the sides of your kayak to aid in wind vibration.

After this…

Open your vehicle doors, throw the ratchet strap to the other side, and run it through the buckle. Don’t forget to make the twist and insert the strap ends through the clasp.

Pull it tightly until you know for sure that it is secure, and then tie the ends of the strap inside your car. Try to shake your kayak just to make sure everything is stable.

Tie-down loops at your rescue

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

Moving on to the front side of your car…

Open the hood of your car and place two tie-down loops on both sides of your car or vehicle. Close the hood and pull the loops making sure that it’s a close fit.

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

Run another rope or tie-down strap through the loop into the front handle of the kayak (bow handle) and finally on the other side (you can secure it on the stern as well).

Tie it all down using any kind of knot style that you know. Just make sure that it is secure and reliable.

You can use this method even if you want to transport two kayaks at the same time.

Can I use other materials?

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

Of course! You can use PVC pipes inserted in pool noodles and rest them on your vehicle’s roof. But this will require another level of your skills.

But, you can do it!

To do this: You need to drill a hole in your half-inch PVC pipes so that the rope will come through the hole. From there, slide the pool noodles or vice versa.

Bring the rope inside your vehicle and tie a regular knot. You can double or triple the knot as long as you feel that it will not depress.

You don’t need to worry about where to buy these materials. They are available in hardware stores, automotive stores, and on the market.

Are there other methods aside from these?

Sure there is!

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

If your budget permits…

…you could purchase yak trailers and attach them to your vehicle. However, the price varies on trailers. You might spend thousands of dollars on less expensive trailers and more on high-quality ones.

The advantage of yak trailers are the following:

  • You don’t need to lift your kayaks on top of your vehicle.
  • More easy and convenient loading and unloading of kayaks.
  • Most trailers come with a cleat and other attachments.
  • And if you’re traveling alone, it can be a good option for you.

Not only that…

If you instantly bought a new kayak from a different place – yak trailers can be a good help.

You have more options to transport a kayak – it doesn’t solely depend on your budget but how you’ll have a safe and comfortable trip.

Is it safe to transport a kayak without a roof rack?

How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

To answer this…

Yes, it is safe, given that you opt to make your own roof rack or use a yak trailer to load your kayak. Unless you have these – you will not have a safe and comfortable trip.

Well, what about walking?

Of course, you can choose to walk and carry it… only if you live near the kayaking area.

But what if you want to experience other kayaking sites? Your friend called you and invited you to join them – sure you’ll be needing something to transport your kayak, right?

On the contrary, it would cause inconvenience for others who will travel from afar if they don’t travel without a roof rack.

Or…to an extent – danger…

Of course, we need to abide by local laws and be extra careful in transporting kayaks, whether using kayak trailers or DIY.

We don’t want our yak to be left behind on the road during travel, right? So might as well think and plan how to transport a kayak without a roof rack.

Conclusion: How to Transport a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

So, how to transport a kayak without a roof rack?

Transporting a kayak is not difficult. There are a lot of ways to do this using affordable materials available on the market or at hand, such as pool noodles, foam block, ratchet straps, and more, depending on how creative and skilled you are.

Your options are not limited…

You can opt to invest in a kayak trailer and roof rack or trails if you want.

Again, you know your specific needs depending on your budget. But it doesn’t solely depend on it – safety is a priority.

If you think you can make your rack system – do it!

If you’re not confident and can opt to rent or buy a trailer – there’s no harm in that.

What is important is you have a safe trip and enjoy kayaking to the next level.

If you have a truck check our article : Best Kayak Rack For Truck

If you want to know more kayaking tips and know-how – dive into Boat Priority!

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